Energy drinks are increasingly popular with young adults. Their commercial success is essentially based on very persuasive marketing because these drinks have no “energizing” quality or anything scientific to validate it.
Initially, energy drinks were marketed on the pretext that they can provide mental and physical stimulation, helping to combat fatigue while improving endurance. But when you look closely at the contents of these drinks, you realize that these so-called “energizing” actions are not due to their nutritional substances: in general, energy drinks have a high sugar and calorie content similar to drinks. carbonated, about 4 to 8 teaspoons of sugar per 250 ml (1 cup). These calories are quickly used by the body and do not support energy expenditure over a prolonged period, instead inducing a drop in metabolic energy linked to hypoglycemia.
Energy drinks often contain an array of other ingredients (taurine, ginseng) in quantities too small to have a metabolic effect, but which serve as promotional tools. These substances (often present in unknown quantities) also have little impact on the energy level of the human body.
Caffeine and sugar as “energy”
The pseudo-energizing effect of these drinks is rather due to the presence of large amounts of caffeine, a powerful stimulant. The caffeine doses in these drinks range from 50mg to 145mg per 250ml serving, which is the amount in an espresso coffee (80mg, and three to nine times more than that in a regular soft drink). Some brands can even contain close to 275mg of caffeine!Even when the caffeine content seems low, beware as it can be camouflaged by the use of guarana, a plant that produces beans similar to those of coffee but which contain twice as much caffeine.
Caffeine, a soft drug
This caffeine content is problematic because this drug acts on the brain, heart and muscles, and can cause multiple side effects in high doses such as palpitations, anxiety, irritability, difficulty concentrating or even gastrointestinal problems. When we consider that a single can of energy drink can contain an average of 80 mg of caffeine, we can understand that this drink is strongly discouraged for younger people!
Mixed with alcohol: a dangerous game
Energy drinks are therefore not “energizing”. Rather, they are stimulants that provide only a minimal dose of energy and which, in practice, only mask fatigue by overstimulating the nervous system. Like all soft drugs that contain caffeine, these drinks are therefore not harmless and can have unwanted side effects. It is currently fashionable to consume them with alcoholic beverages to increase the exciting effect of alcohol, while decreasing its depressive effects. This is a dangerous little game, as these exciting effects can mask the true impact of excessive alcohol consumption and thereby increase the risk of dangerous behaviors such as driving.
* Presse Santé strives to transmit medical knowledge in a language accessible to all. In NO CASE can the information given replace medical advice.